Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sand castle

Whenever anyone comes back from a trip out of NZ, we always ask what the best thing they saw was. It only seems fair to answer the question ourselves. The best thing was in Palm Springs: the Kaufmann house designed by Richard Neutra and built between 1946 and 1947. The house is not open to the public but you can see enough lurking around the front gate to know it is a miracle. The only quibble is that the exquisite renovations might have lurched into the too exquisite. For example, all the screws in the deck are installed so that every groove faced in the same direction. This house and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, also commissioned by Kaufmann, are considered to be two of the top five houses designed in the twentieth century. For plans and interior photographs go here. And in case you didn’t get the full weight of the power message, the trespass sign is cast in bronze.